Category Archives: adventures

Chasing Waterfalls

Costa Rican Waterfall

Yesterday we explored water falls in Costa Rica and I learned about patience. Yep, you read that right. It wasn’t the beauty of the outdoors or marveling at mother earth that moved me. It was the waiting that taught me the most.

Buses in Costa Rica aren’t always punctual (or even reliable) and as we waited, and waited, for the bus to take us to our adventure, I realized I was truly being patient. I didn’t feel anxious or annoyed. I actually didn’t think much about it until it had been nearly an hour and the possibility that it might not ever come crossed our minds. This matters because if you look up the definition of “impatient” you’ll find my picture. That quote, “Patience is not the ability to wait, but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting”…yeah, I failed on the regular.

A closer look reveals that the real issue stemmed from time, and the feeling that there was never enough. Even when there weren’t any pressing issues or demands of a deadline, I operated as if time was my enemy, always needing to be doing something or else I was wasting it. As loved ones will attest, my life motto is, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” (I have the hat, and EVERYTHING.)

In the past, a one hour wait would have ruined my day. I would have whined and complained, claiming my schedule was wrecked. And maybe it was. We were busy people with lots going on. It was a life of events, and errands, and exciting opportunities. But I always hated that feeling of never enough time because it robbed me of being in those times. While doing the current thing on the list my mind constantly wandered off to the next thing on the list. (And, oh, was I good at making lists.)

But yesterday I got a taste of what it feels like to not be that person. To be accepting of the minutes passing before me without feeling rushed or worried. The practice in patience was a good one for me and I’m grateful for the beautiful scenery, the company of friends, and buses that never come.

(We took a taxi.) :)

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“You will get there when you get there and not one moment sooner.

So relax, breathe, and be patient.”

Making Moves

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Are you sitting down?

We’re moving to Costa Rica! 

The short version of a long story is, it was time for a change. After an amazing almost ten (!) years in Chicago, it crossed our minds that having a baby would have changed our city life into something we weren’t sure we’d adjust to. But the truth is, beach life was buzzing in our brains long before a baby was, she just made us realize it was time.

To step out of the comfort zone.

To take a leap of faith.

To say “yes” and figure it out later.

When I named this blog, I had no idea how fitting it would become. Obviously, there are lots of details and logistics to work through as we start the “figure it out” phase but we are sooo excited for this new adventure (effective immediately) and I hope you’ll follow along on this journey.

Speaking of following along and moves, I’ve recently switched my blog platform from Blogger to WordPress. What’s that mean, you say? Basically, if you’ve been visiting via http://ashleightimchenko.blogspot.com/, you’ll be automatically redirected to http://littlegirlbigworld.com/.  All of my content has moved as well but please let me know if you encounter any glitches just in case. This transfer will give me more options for the future of this blog, (expect lots of travel posts and pictures!), and I sincerely hope you’ll keep visiting!

Back to the big move…I know this is probably coming as a shock, and I truly apologize that I’m not able to hug, and cry, and have proper goodbye’s with each of you. Hopefully, you understand that there are reasons and timing that couldn’t be helped and aren’t too hurt at our abrupt departure.  Please allow me to make it up to you by offering a place to stay should you decide to vacation there (and I hope you do!)

I guess it’s also a good time to remind you that you I’m also on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest, where you can find original updates and behind the scenes scoop! (You can also subscribe by email via that little box in the sidebar.)

So, yes, we’re really going. No, this isn’t an April Fool’s, and yes, you’re welcome to visit!

xo

Tennessee Shower for Tiny Timchenko!

I couldn’t have imagined a prettier day than September 20th in East Tennessee. Baby girl was showered with love at a pinky-peach soiree under the beautiful southern sunshine.

Vintage linens were used as table cloths and mixed with modern decor like this smashing tassel garland that will one day hang in her future nursery.

Topped with florals and fruit, there were a variety of cakes, like my grandmother’s coconut cake, which was a special request since it’s just out of this world delicious.

(That’s a coconut cake happy face.)

It was great to catch up with loved we hadn’t seen in ages…

…like this gal that I’ve been friends with since 9th grade. (Aren’t her twins adorable?)

Everyone wrote advice for us, including my five year old niece….

…and guessed the circumference of my bump. How awesome that my brother was the winner – he was spot on!!

The men were asked to complete every day tasks, like tying their shoes, with a balloon belly. 
It was pretty flippin’ hilarious. 

And oh my goodness, the gifts galore! 

My cousin put together this baby basket filled with outfits and corresponding memories…

Like one in honor of our St. Patty’s together and another for our last Halloween.
And my grandmother made a pillow case embroidered with, “Nobody puts this baby in the corner.”             
Because you know how perfect that is!

It was an amazing day in a beautiful setting with some of my favorite company, soaking up love and excitement.

Of course the afternoon flew by in the blink of an eye, but we’ll cherish the memories for always! 

Week 29 Recap: Showered with Love

29 weeks

Over the weekend we celebrated baby girl in Tennessee with family and friends. (More pics coming soon!) It was incredible to be home, surrounded by sweetness and laughter. Quality time with loved ones ranks at the top of my most favorite activities and it meant so much to be showered with such love and excitement. The hugs, the stories shared, the tiny baby clothes! It makes my heart swell to know that our girl is cared for so much already. Of course the time flew by and aside from being homesick as ever and overwhelmed with wonderful emotion here are a few more happenings in pregnant town this week:

  • I’ve said it before, but I’m obsessed with baby movement. People probably get tired of seeing me hold or rub my belly all the time but feeling her squirm is just the most amazing thing. (I don’t want to miss a one!) Sometimes before bed we just lay and watch her wiggle. Alex says it’s like looking for falling stars because you may have to stare for a few minutes before seeing anything worth noting. He also says I’ve started to gently hold his belly in during the night. I guess in my sleep one belly is the same as the next…
  • Speaking of kicks, she beat me from the inside all the way from Chicago to East Tennessee. All 12 hours in the car. (Thanks, baby. Not!)  At times I honestly thought she was trying to punch her way out. And maybe it was from all the sitting, but every symptom I’ve had so far decided to come back at the same time during the trip down. From my back hurting and many bathroom breaks, to feet swelling and a little nausea, I have never been so excited to exit a car once we arrived. 
  • She reeeeally likes Cracker Barrel (like her mama). Biscuits and apple butter equal kick, kick, kick! 
  • We are loving our birth classes. I’ve always been interested in the science/miracle of pregnancy and we’re learning so much. If you’re in the market I highly recommend our teacher
Hope your week was happy! 

Feeling like Fall

The warm days are dwindling here in Chicago. This weekend was unseasonably chilly, (quite the contrast from seven days ago…bye bye bikini!) and with a packed schedule ahead we decided to spend a day driving around Southwest Michigan for a toned down version of our annual winery tour

I’m not quite ready to say goodbye to summer just yet, but it was nice to break away from the city, check out a few new places, and revisit some old favorites while trying to mentally gear up for autumn. We were surprised by how much the area and market has grown since we first started these trips years ago. Breweries and wineries were packed with people, which is wonderful for business, but we did miss a little of the hidden gem charm. That said, we love this tradition and are lucky to have great escapes in close proximity for those times when you need a change of scenery and a little fresh air. Welcome sweaters and pumpkins and hot apple cider!

Week 26 Recap: Growth Spurt!

Theme-ing it up at 26 weeks

Another growth spurt this week! After a few days in a row of stretching, tight skin and an overall uncomfortable feeling, I wasn’t a bit surprised when the scale said I’d gained 3 pounds in one week. It’s amazing what packing on a few lbs in a short period of time can do to your movement and stamina.  In what felt like overnight bending down became difficult, climbing stairs a little slower, and rolling out of bed needed a tad more effort. (Thank goodness for hubby’s strong arms to help pull me up off the couch!) The belly button is more flat, a smattering of acid reflux has started during the night, and my feet are the tiniest bit swollen. All new symptoms that I’m taking as my welcome into the final stretch. Three more months until we meet our little lady!

Amidst my final week of the “golden trimester”, we celebrated Labor Day/Alex’s birthday weekend with a 90’s video vixen theme party and a little end of summer camping. Getting in and out of a tent at seven months pregnant is “fun”, shall we say? ;) Actually, it was a wonderful trip. Aside from dark, middle of the night treks to the ladies room, it was great to breathe some fresh air and spend time with friends away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The weather and scenery were lovely, we ate like kings, and a short work week helped us ease back into reality.

Alex’s “practice baby” birthday gift from friends. 

Week 22 Recap: 11 Year Anniversary!

 

Our eleven year anniversary happened to fall this week so baby girl got to celebrate with us. Even though she’s not technically here yet, it’s fun having her along for our adventures in utero. Since we normally travel for our anniversary we decided to do a Chicago stay-cation this year and it ended up being one of the most incredible yet. Things seemed to fall into place in that way that you can’t just plan. We used our favorite travel credit card points to book the W Hotel – Lakeshore – it’s the city’s only lakefront hotel, it’s just been remodeled, and it’s fabulous. We were kindly upgraded to a larger, water facing room and a few hours later the staff sent champagne, goodies, and anniversary wishes to our door. It was the sweetest surprise and really started our stay off special! Normally when we travel we spend very little time in the hotel room, but with a comfortable layout (also known as, “where’s my robe?”), modern decor, and a gorgeous view (plus maybe being five and half months pregnant) we were content to lounge for a few hours before dinner.

We’ve spent many hours in the Playpen so it was fun to get a view from the other side.

We dined downstairs and forgot to ask someone to snap a picture so we staged this one in our room just before the Navy Pier fireworks started. Over the years I’ve watched this show from several great spots in the city but I have to say, the 26th floor was my favorite to date.

In the morning, Alex woke up long enough to snap this Sunday sunrise photo from our room and we slept in for a few more hours before brunching, trekking around downtown, and journeying back home.

More baby girl updates this week:

  • She’s kicking on the regular and I’m kind of obsessed. I could seriously lay and watch/feel it constantly. Everyone says, “just wait” (which drives me nuts… I CAN just wait, thankyouverymuch) so I’m enjoying each little nudge and flutter, even the ones to the bladder that send me running to the nearest ladies, before they get harder and maybe painful.
  • We talked a lot about baby names and Alex’s main requirement is for her name to be so lovely that when you say it, it melts your heart. No pressure… ;)
  • We also talked about what kind of personality she might have, what she might look like, and what we want her to learn from us. I hope she gets his entrepreneurial spirit, and he hopes she gets my kindness. I might have teared up a little at that point. Okay, teared up a lot.
  • I literally have 5 things to wear.

Hope your week was happy!

Tulip Time!

Over the weekend we took a little road trip over to Holland, Michigan for the Tulip Time Festival. It’s something that’s been on my to do list for years and I finally got the timing right. Unfortunately, the weather has been chillier than spring’s past and only about 25% of the tulips were actually in bloom but it was still a sunny day, albeit with a cool breeze, and a nice escape from the city. While we were there we watched some Dutch dancing, dined al fresco for the first time this year (even though we were pretty cold) and hit a few breweries along the way. (Here, here and here.) Small getaways are the stuff of life.

And because it’s spring and I’m in need of nature, this weekend’s agenda… Lilac Fest! I can’t wait to get a whiff!

This is how we ‘que it.

A couple of weekend ago, craving warmer temp’s and a little family visit, we drove down to London, Kentucky to meet up with my mom and stepdad for a barbecue competition. (Hilariously named “Grills Gone Wild.) Back when we lived in Tennessee we’d join in on these pretty frequently, but it’s been a long while since we’ve been able to participate. Unfortunately it rained most of the weekend, which meant cold and mud, but we still took our jobs as “runners” (the people who turn in the meats to the judges) very seriously. And it felt amazing to be with the fam again, if only for a few days.

St. Patty’s Shenanigans

Chicago turned green again this weekend! My cousin came in from North Carolina to help us celebrate and can I just say, it’s awesome having a family member that gets just as excited for dress up opportunities as I do. (Recognize the wig?) We donned our festive gear (plus coats – unfortunately, the weather wasn’t as fabulous as this) but we did have some sunshine so the water looked extra festive and I was able to bust out my Patrick tee again so no complaints here. We started at the river and made our way north over the course of about eleven hours, with loads of green beer, dancing, and photo opps in between. All in all, a success.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!